The World Bank says despite Malawi improving its score on ease of doing business, its overall position on the Doing Business Index slumped because some other countries achieved more on reforms.
The bank’s country manager Greg Toulmin said in a press statement yesterday that the country’s overall improvement in business regulations and credit ranking made it to score 59.59 in Doing Business 2019 from 58.94 the year before.
In the year under review, Malawi carried out two reforms, which included introducing substantive changes in property transfer and enforcing contracts.
On credit access, Malawi is ranked one of the world’s top 10 in getting credit, ranking along with Kenya and Rwanda in Africa.
Said Toulmin: “Malawi has overall improved its business regulations, and in absolute terms, is narrowing the gap with global regulatory best practice. However, because some other countries achieved even more, Malawi’s overall position is down slightly from 110 to 111, in the Doing Business Index.
“The country made property transfer faster by decentralising the consent to transfer property to local government authorities. It made enforcing contracts easier by adopting new civil procedure rules regulating time standards for key court events.”
World Bank Doing Business Index published on Wednesday showed that Malawi failed to sustain gains made last year on the ease of doing business, dropping to position 111 from 110 out of 190 economies.
Last year, Malawi emerged as the third topmost reformer in Africa on the ease of doing business index, moving 23 steps up the ladder on the global doing business ranking to position 110 out of 190 economies from 133 last year.
Globally, the country also ranks in the top 10 reformers in the past year, having implemented four reforms that improved the business environment in the areas of dealing with construction permits, getting credit, trading across borders and resolving insolvency.
Finance and corporate strategy expert James Kamwachale Khomba earlier said an enabling business environment can only be achieved if all necessary infrastructure and facilities are in place.
“We need undoubted energy and water supplies, better communication systems, roads, railway lines, air transport, supportive financing and banking facilities and more investments in mechanised farming and agro-processing systems,” he said.
Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, in its published Financial Sector Development Strategy II (2017-2021), said it wants to increase domestic credit to private sector as a percentage of gross domestic product from 12.3 percent to 30 percent in the next five years.